" /> the KlezmerShack: February 2007 Archives

« January 2007 | Main | March 2007 »

February 28, 2007

Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys on YouTube

It's one of the few entries on YouTube of klezmer music actually tagged "klezmer." Wish it were longer. Margot introduces the band at the end, including one of the folks currently touring with returnee to the Jewish fold Jorma Kaukonen (who can be any religion he so chooses, so long as he doesn't stop playing blues ;-).)

February 25, 2007

Veretski Pass on the radio

Veretski Pass was in the Midwest last week for concerts and workshops in Madison WI and Urbana-Champagne IL.

Prior to Tuesday¹s concert at the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, they were guests at the radio program "Focus 580 with David Inge". This almost an hour long program features conversation and live music with Veretski Pass and is available on line as a mp3 file:

Radio Program¹s page: www.will.uiuc.edu/am/focus/

Direct link to mp3 file: www.will.uiuc.edu/media/focus070219a.mp3

The Purim Story - listen to the Megilla on the evening of Mar 3, 2007

Purim is coming. That means that it is time to put people in touch with the best, hippest retelling of the story ever to come out of the Klezmer Revival. By that, of course, I mean The Big Megilla, originally recorded by Bill Averbach for his Austin Klezmorim. To find out more about Bill's current projects, visit his bamusic homepage\

Congregational Singing in Hasidic Congregations, by Cantor Sam Weiss

Note: I have posted this entry twice, now, with a broken link. I hope that this fixes things and people can now read the article.

If you've been wondering what Cantor Sam Weiss has been up to since his excellent article on Nine Cantorial Luminaries last year, we have a partial answer: "Congregational Singing in Hasidic Congregations," originally published in Volume XXX of The Journal of Synagogue Music, published by The Cantors Assembly. You can also catch Sam on a regular basis on the Jewish-Music mailing list.

New CD reviews by Günther Schöller: "Trumpets for Di Fidl-Kapelye" and Eastern European brass klezmer field recordings

well, it's different, and seems to include a closeup of some tsimbl stringsGünther Schöller, who also reviewed the first Fidl-Kaplye / Live CD for the KlezmerShack is back with a review of their excellent new recording, this time with trumpets!—Trumpets for Di Fidl-Kapelye. Our favorite Dutch all-woman klezmer band is still in excellent form.

this is not an interesting cover or interesting typeSchöller also catches us up with some excellent European klezmer field recordings, undertaken by thnomusicologist Isaak Loberan—originally from Moldova, now living in Austria. Read all about them in his review of Frelik, Sher un Khusidl … Brass bands from Podolia, Klezmer and other Jewish Music

New Yiddish Opera in Tel Aviv

Proof further that the Yiddish-Hebrew language war is over in the Middle East—Rokhl Kafrissen spots word of a new Yiddish opera about the An-sky expedition, premiering in Tel Aviv. If you've seen the production, do write it!


The story on which this new Yiddish opera is based is from the work collected by An-Sky and Rechtman during their famous ethnographic expeditions. Eugene Orenstein gave a great lecture about the topic at klezkanada this summer. The stories they collected, as well as the story of the expedition itself, are incredible.

Lori Cahan-Simon writes:

This is exciting! Daniel Galay, the producer of this opera, and a singer/musician, will be coming to Cleveland for a performance and lecture this Spring.

Kitka and Davka on PBS; available also on DVD

Tzadik recordings artists Davka have been working on an interesting fusion of new Jewish music for a decade, fusing classical training and traditions with klezmer, yiddish, sephardic, and middle eastern sounds. A few years ago they appeared at the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival with an amazing women's Balkan chorus, Kitka. I have been a fan of the latter almost since their inception in 1979 and treasure my cassette copy of their first release. In a PBS special that aired in December 2006, the two groups appeared together, again. There are also some interviews with members of the two ensembles about Jewish music and what it is to them. Kitka performs a wide variety of Jewish, primarily Sephardic music, while Davka also delivers a very nice live performance. They close with a few numbers together and are joined by Cantor Stephen Saxon (KlexX). It's a lovely program. If your PBS station hasn't yet aired it, encourage them to do so. Or, purchase a DVD (more interviews, songs) yourself.

For more information, visit the filmmakers' website, www.forestcreatures.com
kitka and davka live

February 24, 2007

KlezKanada youth scholarship application now online

KlezKanada logoThe 2007 KlezKanada Youth Scholarship Application is now available on the KlezKanada website at www.klezkanada.com. Avia Moore, Youth Scholarship Coordinator, writes:

"Dear Friends / Tayere khaverim,

"It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the cultural experience of a lifetime. KlezKanada, Canada's internationally renowned summer festival of Jewish/Yiddish culture and the arts, is gearing up for its 12th (yes, 12th!) year. KlezKanada's goal is to foster Yiddish and Jewish cultural and artistic creativity as both an ethnic heritage and a constantly evolving contemporary culture and identity.

I can't express enough how excited I am to be the coordinator for the 2007 Youth Scholarship Program. Our program provides 100 scholarships to students, who might otherwise not be able to participate, giving them the opportunity to attend KlezKanada at a considerably reduced cost. We actively seek students with interest in a wide variety of areas including music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film, writing and Yiddish studies. The scholarship students are a vital part of the KlezKanada community—this is an opportunity not only to work with many of the best teachers of Yiddish music and culture in the world but also to make friends and form artistic partnerships that will last you a lifetime. Believe me, KlezKanada is truly, honestly a magical place.

I hope that everyone will fall in love while they are at KlezKanada. I want every scholarship student, no matter what their age or interest, to fall in love with something during that last week in August: the music, the language, the theatre, the dance, the community, or all of the above. From the deeply rooted song traditions of Theodore Bikel to the contemporary creativity of New Yiddish Culture, KlezKanada offers no end of choices.

A couple of things of note:

"2007 marks the return of the David A. Stein Memorial Filmmaking Scholarships. This is an opportunity for emerging filmmakers who are given the task of documenting the festival, archiving the performances—both the planned, and the spontaneous,—and exploring KlezKanada through the camera’s eye. In memory of the late Toronto filmmaker David A. Stein.

"Please note that our application procedure has changed slightly—we have a new application form and a single, fixed application deadline. The new application is available on the KlezKanada website at www.klezkanada.com. All applications must be postmarked no later than May 1st, 2007. We will notify all successful applicants by June 1st. A waiting list will be established once we have reached our maximum number of scholarship recipients.

"I look forward to receiving your application and to welcoming you to the 12th annual KlezKanada! Please feel free to contact me with any questions."

Until then, yours,
Avia Moore
Youth Scholarship Coordinator
E-mail Avia Moore

OySongs downloadable MP3s taking off

OySongs logoOySongs, the Jewish downloadable music site, has started a series of artist-penned features called MyMusic. This week's MyMusic artist, the award-winning and best-selling Beth Schafer, reflects on what inspires her to write music.

To give you a sense of what is available on OySongs, here is the "OySongs Top 7":

  1. "Kehillah Kedoshah," Dan Nichols and e18hteen
  2. "L'cha Dodi," Craig Taubman
  3. "Ki Eilecha," Shirona
  4. "In This House," Beth Schafer
  5. "Every Day Is A New Day," Susan Colin
  6. "Yih'yu L'ratzon," Yom Hadash
  7. "A Small Difference," Marge Eiseman & Friends

New Releases from Jewish Music International, UK

Press release from Noa Lachman at JMI, Int'l

Dear customer

Tu B’shvat is reminding us that spring is not far… here is a reminder of our products, more items for Purim and Pesach will follow.

We have been to our local woods were we have planted trees to celebrate Tu b’shvat. If you were interested in doing the same you could log on to www.woodland-trust.org.uk to plant a tree in the UK or on www.kkl.org.il/eng where you are invited to plant trees in Israel's Forests. You will receive a certificate with your personal inscription and you can chose where you want the tree to be planted. Please note that none of your donation comes to us, the order is done on their websites independent of our business.

Special offers from Rimmon—2007

We are offering a £5 voucher to all of our customers who spend £40 or more during January and February 2007. This voucher is valid to the end of 2007 and is also transferable so you can give it to a friend. Please add Free Voucher to your shopping basket by pressing on our sale link on the left of the page.

A free recipe for Tu B’shvat from the renowned Jewish Chef Denise Philips is included at the end of this email!

New Releases and New Addition to our catalogue 2007:

Songs for Tu B'Shevat The New Year for Trees
Hebrew songs of Nature including Ashkedya Porahat, Vals le Haganat Hatzomeach (Nature Protection Waltz), Tu B’shevat, Eretz Hatzabar, Ma Osim Haetzim and more. Price £12.99

Hilda Bronstein sings Yiddish Songs Old and New—Bronstein and Shepherd Klezmer quartet
A vibrant and colourful collection of Yiddish songs, each piece capturing some facet of the lives and culture of East European Jewry—expression of the very soul of a people from its darkest hours to moments of ecstatic joy. This CD consists not only of traditional songs but also new pieces by composers from Moldova And the Czech Republic, the latter composed in 2006, but set to the words of a poem written in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943. The expressive range of the Yiddish words is matched by the rich tones of Hilda's voice and the inspirational improvisations of Merlin Shepherd and his quartet of Klezmer musicians on clarinet, Bass clarinet, piano accordion, violin and double Bass. Price CD £14.99

Klezmer Karma—Roby Lakatos and Ensemble—with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra featuring Myriam Fuks and Aldo Granato
"A unique fusion of Gypsy and Klezmer music with hints of tango, funk, Jazz and Waltz.." Fast and lively! Refreshing on the Klezmer scene Tracks include: Klezmer Suite, Yiddishe Mame, Glick, Neshumele, Papirossen suite, Klezmer suite no 2, Empty Pictures, Ani Maamin, Dizzy Fingers, Romania , Hatikvah, Badapest, Yiddishe Hassene, Klezmer Csardas. Price CD £14.99

A Little Miracle—compositions of David Stock
Works of the American contemporary composer David Stock who also conducts the last piece on the CD, Y'rusha and Tekiah. Performed by Elizabeth Shammash, mezzo-soprano; Richard Stolzman clarinet; Stephen Burns trumpet.and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin also Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conductor. Price CD £6.99

New Shabbos Waltz—Statman Andy
Like "Songs of Our Fathers," Andy Statman and David Grisman’s previous collaboration, this CD presents what in Yiddish are called velts nigunim- literally ‘the world’s melodies’. Members of many different Jewish communities are familiar with them and sing them on Sabbath, festivals, and other occasions. However, outside of Jewish circles, these religious melodies are unknown. So you might say that they are velt’s nigunim (world’s melodies) that most of the velt (world) has never heard before. Price CD 15.99

In My Own Lifetime—Bikel Theodore
Features 12 newly recorded Theodore Bikel "Musical Theater Classics," plus one extra bonus, a Yiddish version Of ‘Little Bit of Luck’ from My Fair Lady; Marieke (From Jacques Brel is Alive and Well); If We Only Have Love (From Jacques Brel is Alive and Well); La Chanson Des Vieux Amant, Mack the Knife (From the Threepenny Opera) September Song (From Knickerbocker Holiday); Sunrise Sunset (From Fiddler on the Roof); If I were a Rich Man (From Fiddler on the Roof); In My Own Lifetime (From the Rothschilds); Edelweiss (From the sound of Music); The First Time (From Zorba); I Am Free (From Zorba); If I were a Rich Man (Yiddish Version) (From Fiddler on the Roof). Price CD £14.99

Journey to Shabbat—Cantor Rita Glassman Contemporary songs for the Shabbath
"The Journey to Shabbat is a journey of faith, love and sacred intention. We kindle the Sabbath lights and rekindle what is holy and precious in our lives. Through prayer, song and meditation, we connect deeply to soul, to God, and to each other, recognising the oneness in all of creation. As we open the gates to Shabbat we become more fully alive, more joyful, and more in tune with the stirrings of our hearts". This is the quote from the CD of the Congregation Sherith Israel which is one of the leading Reform Synagogues in San Francisco today. Full of life and musical, lovely to listen to! Price CD £14.99

Life of the Worlds—Kaplan Richard—Journeys in Jewish Sacred Music
A remarkable collection of vocal performances of Jewish Sacred Music from the Middle East, Andalusia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia – songs of exultation, longing, love and Divine imminence – accompanied by an ensemble of masterful musicians. Price CD £15.50

Glorious—30th Anniversary Edition—Camerata Singers—Compositions by Abraham Kaplan
Hailed by Leonard Bernstein as "a heaven-sent maestro" Abraham Kaplan is considered by many to be the greatest choral conductor of his generation and one of the most dynamic performers on the world stage today. His contribution to the world of classical music includes numerous acclaimed choral and symphonic compositions, world premiere performances of well-know 20th century pieces and instruction to many of today’s symphony and choral conductors. Kaplan’s most notable choral compositions include Glorious the Kdusha Symphony, Arvit leshabat, Psalms of Abraham and the Crystal Cathedral Psalms. Price CD £14.99

Many more Jewish Music for Passover/Pesach and to see all the new products for 2007 visit our website on www.jewishmusic-jmd.co.uk or for Judaica products please visit our website on www.judaica-rimmon.co.uk

Peanut and Fruit Bread Recipe

by Denise Phillips

Preparation Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour soaking
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8 – 10 people

100g dried figs – coarsely chopped
100g dried apricots, halved
80g raisins
80 roasted unsalted peanuts
125g unsalted butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons brandy or calvados
2 eggs
120g wholemeal self- raising flour
120g wholemeal plain flour
100g raw peanuts


  • Combine the dried fruits, butter, sugar and 180 ml of water in a large saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda, roasted peanuts and calvados or brandy and mix well. Leave to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas mark 4.
  • Line a 900g (12 cm x 21 cm loaf tin) with non stick baking parchment paper.
  • Whisk the eggs and flours together and stir into the fruit batter.
  • Sprinkle the top with the raw peanuts and press lightly into the batter.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

To Serve the stylish Way: Invert on to a rectangular plate, slice and dust with icing sugar.

Recipe by Denise Phillips
Denise's Kitchen—Modern Jewish Cooking with Style

My popular Cookery Demonstrations are the ideal, yet informal way of adding to your cookery skills. These are comprehensive "hands-on" classes. T : 01923 836 456. Website: www.jewishcookery.com

22nd annual Jewish Music Festival, San Francisco Bay, coming Mar 8-25

band publicity photoBoy, do I have fond memories of the Jewish Music Festival from my years living in the San Francisco Bay area. From my first time hearing exotic-to-me Jewish music from Bukhara and points east, to the first times I saw the Klezmatics and Brave Old World, to one very erotic encounter that began one of my more memorable relationships … to conversations with Festival founder, Ursula Sherman, z"l. Jewish music just does that to me.

This year's line-up is pretty exciting. I am so very jealous that Klezmer en Buenos Aires is appearing, as are Pharaoh's Daughter and a host of others. If you are in the Bay Area, or have a way to get these this coming month, that's the place to be.

For more information: www.jewishmusicfestival.org. Tell festival director Ellie Shapiro that the KlezmerShack sent you. We've known each other for about 30 years. I can tell you that she has good taste in friends and music :-).

Klezmer Podcast #2, Lorin Sklamberg

Keith Wolzinger writes in:

The Klezmer Podcast episode 2, featuring an interview with Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics is now available on the website and the iTunes Store. Happy listening!

It's a very nice interview with Loren, talking about winning the Grammy, the significance of a band on a Jewish label (Jewish Music Group) winning, and the first Jewish-identified band winning a Grammy. As I enjoy saying, "couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks, or a band that is more deserving."

You can listen to (or download) the podcast at klezmerpodcast.com/

February 22, 2007

Klezmatics live in Chicago, by Stewart Cherlin

Woody Guthrie-style naive art with bad letteringStewart Cherlin has written several articles for the KlezmerShack over the years. This is the first time, since a holiday CD roundup many years ago that he has written about a Klezmer band, so it makes sense that he would be covering the Klezmatics recent show in Chicago, featuring their Grammy-award-winning "Woody Guthrie's Wonder Wheel" material.

Read it for yourself, Chicago Folk Tradition and the Klezmatics

February 18, 2007

Set list - Klezmer: The Next Generation

We had a really large crowd last night at my attempt to DJ a set list around "klezmer:the next generation." I am much gratified! I am still working out how much talk goes with how much music, and tried to err on the side of the music. I put up the set list a few minutes, ago. I tried to annotate everything so that people could find the recordings they enjoyed and dig in more deeply.

I also listed a few artists that I meant to include, and sure enough, the first person to email me right after I put up the list (noting some awkward wording in one of the descriptions) was yet another artist I could have included, especially if I had wanted to focus more on Yiddish song: Lori Cahan-Simon whose recordings of once-obscure, "it's about time someone brought them into the light—or sound— of day" Yiddish songs have been a treasure. Her most recent release, Chanukah is Freylekh! proves my point—there is too much excellent new music out to capture in one evening, and I plead as I did at the bottom of my set list: I had to stop somewhere—the entire KlezmerShack is about "Jewish Music: The Next Generation."


February 17, 2007

Matisyahu and JDUB Records Resolve Dispute

This actually came in over the wire last month, but I am happy to spread the word to those who don't yet know:

JDub Records and Matisyahu are pleased to announce that they have amicably resolved all disputes between them. Although they have decided to terminate their business relationship, they wish each other well in the future.

“Over the last four years, JDub’s existence and talented roster have proved that there is demand for proud, unique Jewish music within popular culture,” says JDub President Aaron Bisman. “2007 will mark our 5th anniversary and be a very important year of further development. We’ve launched our own digital store with $0.79 downloads, we have an intentionally small, but incredible release schedule, and we are expanding our event programming in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Chicago.”

Visit the JDUB website for more information, and to find out the latest JDUB news and artist touring schedules.

Cantor Erik L. Contzius makes music available for online sale

Cantor Erik Contzius writes the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Dear friends in song,

I'm proud to announce my first foray into self-publishing. I have opened an on-line store for my sheet music. I encourage you to visit, look around, and listen to some of the music samples (all as mp3's). Of course, if you're so inclined, please feel free to purchase a piece or two! I believe you'll find some things you will not have found elsewhere, such as:


  • A Hebrew setting of the "T'fillat HaDerekh" (Travelers' Prayer) for cantor & choir
  • A complete setting of the Hebrew text of "Lamdeini Elohai" for voice and keyboard
  • An anthem entitled "Our Task" for Cantor, Choir, and keyboard with texts from Pirkei Avot and Micah. Makes for a great piece for installations or just a sermon anthem
  • And many others as well!

All of my music is available as downloadable .pdf's (portable documents to be opened with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader), so you don't have to wait for anything to be shipped to you!

So please drop by at: stores.lulu.com/contzius and check out the store. I am planning on donating 10% of my earnings to the American Conference of Cantors.

Yours in song,
Cantor Erik L. Contzius
New Rochelle, New York

Klezmer Podcast premieres w/David Krakauer, SoCalled

Keith Wolzinger, David Krakauer, SoCalledKeith Wolzinger, of The South Coast Simcha Band, did some very nice podcasts at KlezKanada last year. Now he's taking it up straight from his home in California. He starts auspiciously with an interview with David Krakauer and SoCalled.

I am very happy to announce the posting of the first episode of my new Klezmer Podcast. I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think. It is posted at www.KlezmerPodcast.com and at the iTunes Music Store.

Nikitov captured live on video

archived on their website () and on the popular Dutch all-music program Vrije Geluiden which can be viewed at www.vpro.nl/programma/vrijegeluiden/. (Once on the website click on "bevat video" in the Nikitov Ensemble section and then click on "kijk hier naar Vrije Geluiden 11 Feb. 2007" on the left to view the show. The music performances are at 4:00 and 22:40 in the video). The group concludes the tour at De Waag in Haarlem where centuries of troubadors performed to prove their skill and talent and, in more recent history, folk singers like Joan Baez and Simon and Garfunkel have come to pay homage to the great singers of the past. The band begins their fall European tour in November.

Let my people sing festival, Los Angeles, CA, Mar 7-11, 2007

festival banner Dear friends of all things Jewish, Let My People Sing will feature 7 world class concerts in the Los Angeles area from March 7-11. The programs will feature music by Golem, The Afro-Semitic Experience, Theodore Bikel, Gidi Gov, Danny Sanderson, Junoon, Pharaoh's Daughter, Debbie Friedman, Julie Silver, Jason Alexander and over a dozen other artists. This years festival is dedicated toward raising funds or Jewish World Watch an organization which brings relief to the people of Darfur. I would grateful if you would please pass on this link to family and friends in the Southern California area. Craig Taubman www.letmypeoplesing.com

Budowitz releases insanely great live recording

album coverWe are very excited to let you know that our new release by Budowitz is now
ready and available on our online shop. It will be available in other venues soon.

Budowitz members include Josh Horowitz and Cookie Segelstein from Veretski Pass, clarinetist Christian Dawid and 3 musicians from Hungary: Tamás Gombai, Sándor D. Tóth and Zsolt Kürtösi.

Here is the link to the album's page on our website. You can hear samples, get
to know the musicians and also read an interview with Josh Horowitz.

This is Budowitz's third recording, celebrating its 12th year anniversary with an unbelievable double CD recorded live from concerts in Zurich and Geneva by Swiss National Radio.

Joshua Horowitz - Tsimbl, 19th Century Accordion
Christian Dawid - C-Clarinet
Tamás Gombai - Violin
Cookie Segelstein - 19th Century violin and viola
Sándor D. Tóth - Violin, 3-String Viola
Zsolt Kürtösi - ¹Cello

If you've ever wondered what this seminal band actually does on stage live with no overdubs, this is your chance. The music is stunning, with repertoire that is entirely fresh to the klezmer world. The band lays to rest the idea that klezmer music is one monolithic style of music; The CD is a feast of musical styles, conceived as two parts of a concert, moving through 10 regions (9 Gubernias and Transylvania) where Jews have settled in eastern Europe.

Each suite has its own character and features each of the musicians. Amidst all of the sounds, colors, styles, rhythms and moods, the CD manages to weave original works by four of the band members into the fabric, with each composition serving the whole with no seams showing.

Not only is the music on this double CD fascinating and beautiful, the artwork and booklet are stunning as well. It is packaged in an 8-fold digipack with a hand painted watercolor by Emily Lubanko on the front and a 12-page booklet tucked inside with notes about each track and a veritable photo album of pictures of the group at home, in the field, on stage and rehearsing.

We hope you will enjoy listening to this album as much as we enjoyed producing it!

P.S. The headline was invented here at the KlezmerShack, upon listening to the recording and was not part of the original press release.

News from Living Traditions/KlezKamp

From Living Traditions/KlezKamp Executive Director Henry Sapoznik:

Dear Friends of Living Traditions/KlezKamp,

We are still enjoying the afterglow of this year's very successful KlezKamp 22: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program, Hasidish Yidish, which took place December 24-29, 2006. If you missed it, you can read all about it and see photos and video clips on our KlezKamp blog at www.klezkamp.blogspot.com.

You may also download and read a copy of the wonderful KlezKamp Zhurnal, including a special Yiddish-themed crostic puzzle created especially for KlezKamp by Rick Winston, at www.livingtraditions.org/docs/kk/zhurnal.htm.

It is possible you may have missed some of our other new exciting projects:

"From the Repertoire of German Goldenshteyn" A book of 100 transcriptions of German's memorable and unique tunes edited by Cookie Segelstein, Alex Kontorovich and Aaron Alexander and published in December by Living Traditions.

Zvee Scooler: Der Grammeister Yiddish-American Radio 1938-1975 CD Some of the finest Yiddish poetry written in America was shared with tens of thousands of listeners on station WEVD. These never before reissued performances of the great Zvee Scooler show why he is considered one of the giants of the Yiddish Renaissance.

These and our other Living Traditions and KlezKamp items can be found at http://www.livingtraditions.org/docs/store.htm They make great gifts!!

In the pipeline for this year:

  • a C notation version of the German Goldenshteyn book.
  • The second in our CD series "A Living Tradition" featuring the Yiddish clarinet mastery of our own Ray Musiker, recorded live at this last KlezKamp.

And while our next KlezKamp is a only mere 324 days away, it's not to early to mark down the dates: December 23-28, 2007, but, of course, we'll be in touch long before then.

Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without your financial support. So please make a gift to Living Traditions so we can continue teaching, preserving, and sharing Yiddish culture at KlezKamp and beyond. You can give online at www.livingtraditions.org/docs/memb.htm.

A sheynem dank, thank you.

Henry Sapoznik
Executive Director, Living Traditions
Founder and Director, KlezKamp

February 16, 2007

new Joel Rubin Ensemble release, "Midnight Prayer"

album coverMidnight Prayer
Joel Rubin Ensemble
(Traditional Crossroads CD 780702-4332-2)

Announcing the release of the new CD, "Midnight Prayer" by the Joel Rubin Ensemble. Clarinetist Rubin has long been considered to be one of the leading performers of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in the world today, earning accolades from sources as diverse as klezmer giants Dave Tarras and Max Epstein, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman, avant garde composer John Zorn, and Nobel Prize Laureate and poet Roald Hoffmann. The ensemble also features Hungarian cimbalom virtuoso Kálmán Balogh, Italian accordion wizard Claudio Jacomucci and rising klezmer star violinist David Chernyavsky, as well as Ferenc Kovács (trumpet), Csaba Novák (bass), Sándor Budai (second violin) and Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl).

To order:

For more information:

This CD is also available from Simon at Hatikvah Music.

"Midnight Prayer" brings together two diverse, yet partially overlapping repertoires: the instrumental music of the klezmorim—the professional Jewish instrumentalists who graced every traditional Jewish wedding in Eastern Europe from at least the 16th century onwards—and the mystical nigunim (religious melodies of spiritual elevation) of the hasidic movement. Recorded in four magical days at the Operetta House in Budapest, Hungary, "Midnight Prayer" creates its own sonic universe, full of depth, virtuosity, playfulness and introspection. The kaleidoscopic soundscape filters the many historical layers of traditional Jewish music through the lenses of the multifarious musical backgrounds of the band¹s members, ranging from classical to Gypsy to free jazz to contemporary art music. Here the interaction of a great improvising jazz ensemble melds with the delicacy of a chamber music group and the drive of a hot wedding band at the cusp of klezmer, Roma and other Eastern European traditions.

February 15, 2007

Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, o"h

Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, from the League for Yiddish websiteFrom Paul Glasser--

iz tsu mir itst dergangen di troyerike bsure, az iz geshtorbn
Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, der filolog, lerer, redaktor, leksikograf un
moyre-derekh fun a sakh fun undz.

I have just found out that Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, linguist, teacher, editor, lexicographer and mentor to so many of us, has died. The funeral will be tomorrow morning, Friday, but the details have yet to be worked out. As soon as I have them, I will pass them along.

Update: the funeral will take place Friday, February 16, at 9:30 am at the Plaza Memorial Chapel, Amsterdam Avenue at 91 Street (SW corner).

Further, from the League for Yiddish
Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter --
der man fun Charne Schaechter;
tate fun Rukhl, Gitl, Eydl un Binyumen Schaechter;
un bruder fun Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman--
iz haynt nifter gevorn.
[Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter--
husband of Charne Shaechter;
father of Rukhl, Gitl, Eydl, and Binymen Schaechter;
brother of Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman]

Di levaye vet forkumen morgn,
fraytik, dem 16tn februar 2007
9:30 in der fri
bam Plaza Memorial Chapel,
630 Amsterdam Ave (91-92 Streets)
New York, NY 10024

Di shive vet forkumen fun
shpeysenakhts, dem 17tn februar
biz donershtik, dem 22stn februar 2007

in der heym fun Rukhl Schaechter
52 Ellsworth Ave, Yonkers, NY 10705
(bald af mizrekh fun Riverdale Ave;
eyn blok af tsofn fun 263ster gas, Bronx)


Henry Hudson Pkwy.
Fun dorem: aroysgang ba "253rd St." un fort rekhts dray mol.
[Fun tsofn: aroysgang ba "254th St."]
Fort af tsofn mit Riverdale Ave. 1/2 mayl.

1. Unterban "1" biz 231ster gas;
#7 oder #10 oytobusn af tsofn biz der letster stantsye (263rd St).
2. Unterban "A" biz 207ter gas;
#7 oytobus af tsofn biz der letster stantsye (263rd St).

BxM1 fort fun "east side" biz der letster stantsye (261 St).
BxM2 fort fun "west side" biz der letster stantsye (261 St).

biz der Riverdale-stantsye (Hudson-linye),
un fun dort, nemt dem Rail Link kin Riverdale Ave un 263 St.

February 12, 2007

The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist, now available

Michael Wex / Michah Mushmelon

Marilla Wex writes:

Just a quick note to let you all know that "The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist" is now available for the first time in the original English! For only $12.99 (+P&P) this early comic novella by our very own New York Times bestselling author Michael Wex about crime-fighting Belzer Hasidic kids can be yours. Click on the following link to find out more, read an extract or visit our online store:


Another Saturday night event in Brookline - benefit to support aid efforts in Darfur

I am occupied with my own event early on Saturday evening this week, but when it is over and I have played the last bit of klezmer or new Yiddish song, I intend to wander over to a place near Temple Beth Zion and check out something advertised as a "Save Darfur! Sing for Justice and Joy!" What reasonable person could say no?

You can find out more about the house at www.kavodhouse.com. And if you're sold on the idea of the concert or just curious about Minna Bromberg, do join me by rsvping to Alyson Solomon.

These events are happening at something that I have just heard of, called the "Moishe/Kavod Jewish Social Justice House," which apparently has branches around the US; this particular one being in Washington Square, Brookline. I gotta say, as a graduate of wonderful, sometimes effective, lefty collectives in Jerusalem and the San Francisco Bay Area, that I am pleased as punch to realize that the idea is still popular. I am also fired up and pissed that almost since the current president was first elected by our Supreme Court we have been talking about taking action in Darfur and fuck-all has happened. It is unconscionable. If this sort of event helps remind us and keep the pressure on to change that situation, I'm all for it. And, who knows, this Minna Bromberg might be good!

As they wrote in the email invite I received: In this season of approaching Purim, remember that, just as Mordechai tells Esther when the Jews face genocide in Shushan, "Who knows? Perhaps for this very crisis you have [attained your position]," so too are we called on to stand up in the face of genocide.

You can find out more about the house at www.kavodhouse.com. And if you're sold on the idea of the concert, do join me by rsvping to Alyson Solomon.

from Minna Bromberg website

February 11, 2007

Klezmatics win Grammy!!!!

Woody Guthrie-style naive art with bad letteringI don't watch TV, of course, but I was just taking a look over at Rokhl Kafrissen's "Rootless Cosmopolitan and discovered that the Klezmatics did, indeed, win a grammy!

I'm sorry that the Grammy is "only" for a crossover Americana album, but I am pleased as punch—more than pleased—that a group I admire so much has gotten at least some recognition from the general music establishment.

And, I gotta say, it may be "only" a crossover Americana album, but the band fully deserves the recognition for Woody Guthrie's Wonder Wheel CD, and the album rocks! Woody would be very happy, as would his mother in law, Aliza Greenblatt.

I do some DJing - Klezmer, TNG, Feb 17, 2007

This is my own event, so of course I keep forgetting to say anything about it:

Havdalah/Melaveh Malkah
Sat., Feb 17, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Temple Beth Zion, 1566 Beacon St., Brookline, MA

Havdalah Service with Lee Moore, followed by conversation and music spinning by Ari Davidow:

The Klezmer Revival: The Next Generation

With the Klezmatics putting Woody Guthrie poems to music it is clear that Jewish music in America is going through exciting new changes. It isn't just klezmer, Debbie Friedman, or Avraham Fried any more. Where an earlier generation gave the world "Bei Mir Bist du Shein," a Jewish Lubavitch hip hop singer is back on the mainstream pop charts, punk Yiddish singing (a band called "Golem") is taking the club circuit by storm and even today's klezmer has gone through some changes since our grandparents time.

Free and open to the public.

February 4, 2007

10 years for the Jewish Music Web Center

I can't believe it's been 10 years! The only Jewish music website that matters as much—may even matter more—than the KlezmerShack is the Jewish Music Web Center. This is also the central place for information about Jewish women and music. Of course, when talking about the the Jewish Music Web Center, I sometimes feel like the guy in the old Remington shaver ads. In this case, I was so blown away by the person who created and maintains the site, that I convinced her to marry me.

From the Jewish-Music mailing list:

It's the 10th Anniversary of JMWC !!

The Jewish Music Web Center is celebrating 10 years online this month! My first research bibliography and organized list of Jewish websites appeared in February, 1997. I went 'live' with the www.jmwc.org domain name the following February—making this the 10th anniversary year. In 1997, there were fewer than 70 websites devoted to Jewish music. Today, there are hundreds. The astounding growth of the Internet has allowed connections to people devoted to Jewish music all over the world.

Thank you ALL for a wonderful 10 years!
Judy Pinnolis

You can send congratulations to Judy by email.